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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, April 18, 2000

No ramps yet for
disabled in Manoa

Question: What's happening with the handicapped ramps in Manoa? They started more than a year ago and nothing is happening. At the intersection of East Manoa and Lowrey Avenue, there is a rod sticking up with a cone over it. It's very dangerous.

Answer: We've been trying for weeks to get an answer from the city and the last word, from Carol Costa, director of the city Department of Customer Services, was that she was working on getting a response but didn't know when one was forthcoming.

Stay tuned.

The roadwork, or lack of it, is something that many Manoa residents are wondering about.

In September, 1999, in answer to a complaint, we reported there was a delay on the project to install drain inlets and to reconstruct concrete curbs along Manoa Road and other parts of Manoa. At that time, the project's resident engineer said the delay was caused by changes made to the design of the curb ramps to make sure they meet standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In February, KITV reported that the Federal Highways Administration was critical about the project and that federal funding was jeopardized because of it.

Meanwhile, Manoa Rep. Ed Case's office has been unsuccessfully trying to find out when the project is going to (1) restart and (2) be completed.

His office sent out its annual district survey in March, said Dawn Yoshimura, a legislative analyst on Case's staff. About two dozen -- a high number, according to Yoshimura -- specifically mentioned the Manoa Road project.

"When something keeps cropping up (in a survey), you know it's a problem," she said.

Case's office basically was told that the city doesn't know when the project is going to start because the contract is being renegotiated. Apparently, changes in the work prompted by ADA requirements have increased costs significantly.

"Everyone seems concerned and it's a matter of unanticipated costs" related to the ADA requirements, Yoshimura said.

But at this point, people not only want action, they also want information, Yoshimura said.

Q: What organization can I call here about the American with Disabilities Act ?

A: Call the State Disability and Communication Access Board, 586-8121. The board was formerly known as the Commission on Persons With Disabilities.


To Howard F. Criss Jr. for returning three original photographs of the novelists Koyama, Tanizaki and translator Seidensticker. When I realized I left the half-century-old photographs on a city bus, I waited at the Ala Moana stop for 1 hours until the right bus came along. The photographs weren't on that bus, but Mr. Criss returned them by mail after telephoning me. -- Richard Thomas


To Barbara Chang, of the Thirst Station at Ala Moana's Makai Court, who came up to tell me my package was leaking. I had just purchased lunch to take home and to my surprise, there was brown gravy running down the length of my white pants! It's a good thing I went to the Thirst Station to purchase pastries. Barbara took me in the back and helped clean the stain off my shirt, pants and shoes. After that, she bagged my food in a plastic bag to prevent more leakage. Mahalo, Barbara, for your thoughtfulness and concern. --Marge Chang

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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